Saturday, February 04, 2012

When Wit Was Wit

From 1956: The Paris Review interview with Dorothy Parker.


John said...

Wonderful find, Michael. Perfect leisure reading for a Sunday morning. Among my fantasies is imagining being at a nearby table, close enough to hear the banter at he Algonquin.

Love this line from the interview. "He and I had an office so tiny that an inch smaller and it would have been adultery."

And this.
I don’t want to be classed as a humorist. It makes me feel guilty. I’ve never read a good tough quotable female humorist, and I never was one myself. I couldn’t do it. A “smartcracker” they called me, and that makes me sick and unhappy. There’s a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words. I didn’t mind so much when they were good, but for a long time anything that was called a crack was attributed to me—and then they got the shaggy dogs.

Michael Wade said...


I know what you mean. A seat near that table would have been priceless.